The University of Toledo College of Law and the International Law Society present:
Child Sexual Violence by Clergy: Is the Vatican Accountable under International Law?
Monday, April 2
Law Center Auditorium
Panel 1 – 11:45 a.m.
Panel 2 – 6:30 p.m.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights have submitted a complaint to the International Criminal Court prosecutor requesting an investigation of the Vatican for crimes against humanity. The filing charges that Vatican officials tolerate, enable and fail to stop the systematic and widespread concealing of rape and other sex crimes by clergy against children throughout the world.
Please join us for a discussion of the background and international legal framework for this action.
Barbara Blaine, Founder and President, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
Pam Spees, Senior Staff Attorney, International Human Rights Program, Center for Constitutional Rights
David Beckwith, Executive Director, The Needmor Fund
Moderated by: Benjamin G. Davis, Associate Professor of Law, University of Toledo College of Law
The event is free and open to the public.
Barbara Blaine is the founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Since 1988, Blaine has reached out to help survivors, expose wrongdoers and prevent clergy sex crimes and cover ups. Previously Blaine worked as a volunteer high school teacher in Jamaica and assisted street-children to locate family members. She next ran a shelter for homeless families in Chicago and represented abused and neglected children in juvenile court. Blaine holds an MSW, M. Div. and a J.D. She is licensed in Illinois.
Pam Spees is a senior staff attorney in the international human rights program at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). She has a background in international criminal and human rights law with a gender focus, as well as criminal trial practice. Prior to joining CCR, she practiced criminal law in Louisiana, where she primarily represented indigent persons in state and federal courts. In addition, she has worked as a consultant in international law with a focus on women's human rights and previously served as program director of the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, an international advocacy network dedicated to ensuring accountability for crimes of sexual and gender violence included in the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court. She now serves as an advisor to the Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice (formerly the Women's Caucus), which is now based in The Hague, to monitor the Court and continue the advocacy for accountability for gender-based violence.
David Beckwith is the executive director of The Needmor Fund, a national foundation based in Toledo, Ohio. He was formerly a field consultant for the Washington, D.C. based Center for Community Change. He has worked as a community organizer, trainer and consultant to community groups since 1971. He was the founding director of the New England Training Center for Community Organizers in Providence, Rhode Island, field coordinator for the Governance Task Force of President Carter's National Commission on Neighborhoods in 1978, and a training specialist with the national Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C. He moved to Toledo in 1981 to serve as director of the East Toledo Community Organization. From January 1988 until September 1994, he worked part-time as a research associate at The University of Toledo's Urban Affairs Center.
Benjamin G. Davis is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School where he was articles editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. He worked for 17 years in Paris, France as a management or development consultant and as legal counsel of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce where he rose to the rank of director, Conference Programmes, and manager, Institute of World Business Law.
Davis entered law teaching in 2000 joining the faculty at Texas Wesleyan Law School and then the University of Toledo College of Law where he is a tenured associate professor. He teaches and conducts research in contracts, alternative dispute resolution and public and private international law. He has been addressing domestic, foreign and international accountability of high-level persons since early 2004 in law review articles, online articles at Jurist and the Society of American Law Teachers Blog, as part of the Human Rights Committee of the Society of American Law Teachers where he is a board member, and as a member of the American Society of International Law (ASIL).
On torture, Davis led the effort to pass the 2006 ASIL Centennial Resolution on the Use of Armed Force and the Treatment of Detainees. Known as the “Davis Resolution,” the resolution was only the eighth in the then 100-year history of the organization. Davis provided expert testimony for the attempted prosecutions in Germany in 2006 of high-level U.S. civilians such as former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. In addition, he and his students assisted in drafting the World Organization for Human Rights USA January 2012 report, “Indefensible: A Reference for Prosecuting Torture and Other Felonies Committed by U.S. Officials Following September 11th.”
Davis is a council member of the American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution and liaison to the ABA Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline. He is a member of the Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio as well as a former Vestry Member of St Mark’s Episcopal Church in Toledo and the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris, France.